Monthly Archives: January 2014

Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Pizza

I seem particularly paralyzed by my cravings lately. Like, can’t sleep, can’t think straight kind of crave.Spinach Artichoke Pizza

Before you guys get the wrong idea, allow me to squash all the baby rumors before they even start. There’s no bun in my oven. There’s just a pan full of Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke pizza – and that’s perfectly fine by me.

This pizza pretty much piggybacks off the dip craving I’ve been dealing with.

Pizza + spinach & artichoke dip = problem solved.

ShallotsSolutions to all life’s problems should taste this good. Sigh.

Added bonus alert! I was even able to improve upon my original craving since I made an entire meal out of it instead of a mere appetizer.

I don’t know if anyone out there suffers from eater’s remorse like moi, but I can only imagine how badly I’d beat myself up for having just dip for dinner. For whatever reason, piling a topping that could double as dip high up on pizza dough rights any irrational wrong.

Please don’t question or judge my questionable judgement.

Spinach

Instead, come along with me on this ridiculously delicious journey. It starts with some sauteed shallots, garlic and spinach.

Of course, if you don’t happen to have any shallots on hand, go ahead and use an onion. See if I care!

I’d say we’re off to a good start, wouldn’t you?

RicottaArtichoke

While everyone’s getting to know each other in a skillet on the stove top, prepare the culinary partner in crime to your spinach.

Ah, artichokes. You’re a funky little veg. I love heart though.

Ahem.

That bad pun probably lost me a couple readers. For those of you still here – I’m sorry – and thank you.

Filling

Weird factoid about me and artichoke hearts? Whenever I add them to my shopping list, I spell out artichoke and then draw a tiny, pluralized heart.

Like so: artichoke ♥s

Some call it super lame. I call it supermarket shorthand 🙂
PrePostBake

I ♥ this pizza. With all my ♥.

Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Pizza

slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats
Yield: 1 pizza
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:
1 recipe Foolproof Pizza Dough (or a 16 oz. ball of store bought dough)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 (8 ounce) bag of fresh spinach
1 (14 ounce) can of artichoke hearts (5-7 count)
2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
8 ounces freshly grated muenster cheese
a healthy sprinkle of parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Ingredients:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Drain artichokes and press with a paper towel to reduce some of the moisture. Roughly chop, pressing with a towel again, then place in a bowl. Add ricotta cheese.

Heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add in shallot with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and spinach, tossing to coat and cooking until spinach is wilted. Transfer spinach mixture to the bowl with artichokes and ricotta, then add salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Shape your pizza dough on a prepared pan (I coat with nonstick cooking spray and corn meal) and then spread spinach ricotta mixture evenly over top. Cover with parmesan and muenster cheeses. Bake for 25-30 minutes with the rack on the lowest position in your oven so that the crust can crisp up.

Then, carefully move the pan to the upper rack in the oven and broil until the crust and the cheese are nicely browned and bubbly. Keep the oven door slightly open and a watchful eye on everything, as it can easily burn.

Filling2

I have a feeling this craving of mine is going to keep reoccurring. Look’s like this recipe will be on repeat.

Monday Munchies

My cravings are themed this week! If there’s something I’m good at, it’s being annoyingly organized. I get so much enjoyment out of order, it’s a little maddening – even to myself.

You hear that, Eric? You’re not the only one driven crazy by OCD tendencies 😉

There’s even a method to my Monday Munchies madness. This week, we’re doin’ dips. I hope I’m not the only one who automatically thinks of the musical classic Da’ Dip by the one and only Freak Nasty when this category of appetizers is mentioned.

All by myself? All right. Let’s discuss dips.

Click the red link or picture to be taken to the source.

Blast-from-the-past-Done-Right Dip: Remember those packets of dehydrated onions and spices you could mix with sour cream and – voila – you have almost-instant french onion dip?

That, paired with Cape Cod chips was my dad’s jam back in the day. He very well may still be snacking on that killer combo as we speak, but I’m thinking a batch of this Caramelized Onion Dip would beat the packet, no problem.

There are three girls in my family, but I just may move up the rank to favorite daughter if I make this for dear old dad.

I’m so glad my sisters don’t read this blog – bwahahaha!

Caramelized Onion DipSo-Easy-Anyone-Could-Do-It Dip: Who doesn’t love dipping oil? While I would never just out and out eat olive oil on its own, as soon as spices like red pepper flakes, garlic and rosemary hit its slippery surface, I might as well start slurping.

Bread becomes a mere vehicle for getting oil in my mouth.

Instead of embarrassing myself when I’m out at nice Italian restaurants, I should use this Extra Virgin Oil Olive Dip recipe so that I can get gluttonous in the privacy of my own home.

Hummina-Hummina Hummus: It’s only right to give hummus its own category when it looks this good. I grew up eating hummus and even though I’d like to think I’ve gotten pretty adventurous with it as I’ve gotten older, I’ve never had hummus quite like this.

Holy moly, Jalapeño Honey Hummus. You just turned hummus on its head.

What’s that you say? The post has a bonus recipe for DIY olive oil spiced tortilla chips? Done.

jalapeno-honey-hummus-I-howsweeteats.com-6

Double-Take-Dessert Dip: I don’t even know what to say about, you, S’mores Dip. I tried typing, like, three different sentences, but I can’t quite calm myself down enough to think straight. I was sent into a tailspin the second I saw ya.

If I drowned in a vat of this dip, I’d die a happy, happy girl.

Death by s’mores dip.

Doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

I’m not one for football, but I know there’s a big game comin’ up. The only super bowl I’m thinking about though is one involving all these dips.

Over indulgence or pure brilliance?

Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, Walnuts & Dried Cranberries

This is perfection in cookie form, friends. The cream of the cookie crop.

CookiesIf you haven’t already put the pieces of the puzzle together, please allow me to spell it out for you: I am extremely motivated by food. I think I inherited this trait, kind of like how I got my mom’s thirst for good gossip and my dad’s attention to detail. Both of my parents are pretty into eating, so that’s where my theory comes from. It couldn’t help but be passed down and embedded into my genetic makeup.

Since I assume everyone else shares my passion for all things food, I tend to make goodies for others as edible thank yous for things they’ve done; kind gestures shown.

Food. It’s one of those universal languages everyone understands. I just happen to be fluent.

The cookies I’m blogging about today were made for Eric’s parents as a form of repayment for being so nice to my new sous-chef. My kitchen has gotten a heck of a lot cuter since Iggy came around.

Iggy

Eric’s dad has swung by the house each and every day around lunch just to check in on Iggy. While we’ve told him we don’t expect him to do this all the time, we really appreciate having his help while the little guy adjusts to his new home. My father-in-law always seems to know when I’m missing Iggy the most, too. That’s when he tends to send me sweet pics of the pup with captions that read something like, “Iggy is just fine!”

Eric’s mom? She’s given Iggy more treats and toys than I can count – and in turn – saved all of my shoes, I’m sure. She also is there for me when I have concerns about pet parenting or Iggy’s general well being…which is…um, every day.

Hashtag hypochondriac.

All joking aside, our Iggy’s got a good life going on – and Eric and I only play a small part in that. Therefore, it was high time we did some thank you baking.

Butter4

Remember that brown butter tutorial from the other day? There was a reason I was browning up such a big batch. I alluded to these cookies, but you had no idea what you were in for. You’re welcome.

Sure, you could skip the step of browning your butter if you’re in a time crunch, but I’m begging you not to. I don’t want to question your life decisions, but I can’t help but at least do so silently. What I’m saying is: I’d judge you secretly from afar.

Brown that butter and we’ll be juuuust fine.

SugahSugah

Speaking of brown, let’s keep the theme going with some brown sugar. Add in an equal amount of good old fashioned granulated for some extra sweetness and whip both sugars with your brown butter until everything’s light and fluffy.

FluffyThe lightness and fluffiness of which I speak is going to take a couple minutes to achieve, but look for something that’s along these lines right here. Basically, you’ll know you’re there when the contents of your bowl become the confectionery equivalent of a cumulus cloud.

I could have taken a spatula to the bowl and gone to town at this point, but I somehow found the strength to continue the cookie making process.

It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.

Dry

Once we’ve got our brown butter and sugars whipped up, it’s time to turn our attention to the dry ingredients. After the photo op, I combined everything you see above and added it into my mixing bowl. As you see, there’s nothing fancy here, folks. Just some pantry staples that – when they join forces – make cookie magic.

Each element plays an equally important role.

Okay. Cinnamon’s the shining star, but shhh…don’t let the other stuff in on that secret.

Whip

To save yourself from a mess of dry ingredient dust, it’s best to incorporate everything in two small batches instead of one big one. Don’t forget to only use the first or second speed on your mixer, too. Jumping up to anything else will result in an instant explosion.

Regardless of the advice I give, I always end up with everything…everywhere. I’ll never learn.

Oats

Here’s where these cookies get their long name from. All those words? Well worth it. The contents in that bowl are what makes these cookies so bomb.

If my little brother actually read this blog, he’d make fun of me so hard for writing that, but these are my cookies and I’ll describe them however I want to. Even if it makes me sound like I’m stuck in the nineties.

Bomb is only dated when you preface it with “the” or “da.”

Duh.

Yeah, I did that. I officially one upped outdated myself.
PreBake

If you get past my poor attempt at humor and make these cookies, I promise you will forgive me. Uh huh. Just one bite and I’ll be absolved.

Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, Walnuts & Dried Cranberries

adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Yield: 36 normal cookies, or 20 giant ones
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 11-12 minutes for normal cookies, 22-24 minutes for giant ones

Ingredients:
1 cup brown butter, cooled (if it’s been refrigerated, allow to soften)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats (old fashioned, quick or instant)
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (omit if there’s a nut allergy and add in an extra cup of cranberries instead)
1 cup dried cranberries
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream brown butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two batches. In another bowl combine oats, white chocolate chips, walnuts and dried cranberries. Add to dough and combine.
Drop dough on greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake normal-sized cookies for 11-12 minutes and giant-sized ones for 22-24. Allow to cool, if you can 🙂

Baked

My father-in-law sent me a text, that succinctly summed up his thoughts on these cookies.

Deliciousness

It read: “they didn’t stand a chance.”

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